Bluetooth 5 is on the way: twice the speed, four times the range, and location-awareness

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Due to be announced next week on June 16, Bluetooth 5 has a great deal to offer. Ahead of the announcement, Bluetooth Special Interest Group executive director Mark Powell has revealed a little about what we can expect.

The headline-grabbing specifications for the latest version of the wireless standard are a quadrupling of the current range, and a doubling of the current speed. Slightly less exciting is the change in naming convention which is a move to simplify the communication of major changes, but another key feature of Bluetooth 5 is support for location-aware services.

This is something that other companies are already implementing in different ways, and in the last few days Google launched Nearby which makes use of beacons to promote apps and services based on location. As Bluetooth 5 becomes widely adopted, we’re likely to see far more things like this. This is really what Bluetooth SIG is promoting, having already talked about the speed and range improvements earlier in the year.

In a letter published in the Bluetooth newsletter, Blue News, Mark Powell says:

Bluetooth 5 will also provide significant new functionality for connectionless services like location-relevant information and navigation. By adding significantly more capacity to advertising transmissions, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services to users around the world. It’s a great story and one we’re looking forward to telling from our upcoming media event in London on 16 June.

We can expect to see Bluetooth 5 implemented in future smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as featuring in upcoming IoT devices. The full launch takes place in London on Thursday.

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